As I mentioned in my last post, quite a few people at the Lean Startup Conference asked for copies of my slides (“quite a few” is how we marketers describe those poor suckers slow enough to have had our cards foisted on them in passing). But as I also mentioned, the slides by their nature were quite succinct, each consisting of an image and a couple of words. So, not that helpful to those who weren’t in the audience actually hearing the complete fifteen seconds of wisdom I laid down with each slide. Not only that, but getting each slide down to just 15 seconds required me to surrender many of my best ideas, leaving examples and details laying on the ground like glitter in the wake of a drag queen. So I thought it might make sense to use the blog to blow out each slide a little more fully.
I first read The Lean Startup by Eric Ries maybe 6 or 8 months ago, after it was recommended to me by Jason Putorti of Mint and Votizen. My own marketing career has been kind of nontraditional; after studying the Four P’s and the Customer Lifecycle and all that big-brand stuff as an undergrad, I got a job selling extra-long twin sheets to college students via direct mail. The science of setting up split tests and tracking response rates woke up a latent love for numbers that my poor calculus professor, Dr. E. Ray Bobo, would not have recognized. Since then I have mostly worked at startups or nonprofits, all places with minuscule marketing budgets that required a lot of creativity, and I’ve been focused on digital media, with its streams of data and ample opportunity for testing and optimization. So the Lean Startup message of staying small and making every dollar count completely resonated with me. I’ve been shoving this book on people ever since then, and when I heard them put out the call for speakers I leapt on it. The book is pretty focused on product development, but I wanted to show that the same principles could lead to smarter, better marketing for startups, too.
I’m taking this at a post per slide, by the way, because otherwise tl;dr, amirite? Next Up: The Way Many Startups Do Marketing.